Harbin Opera House / Harbin, Heilongjiang, China
MAD Architects’ proposal for the Harbin Island cultural centre, opera house and wetland landscape has been unearthed and sculpted by the forces of wind and water, or so it appears. The 850 000 square foot, Harbin Opera House, accommodates over 1600 patrons in the grand theatre while the grand lobby and external plaza is open for the public to explore. “We envision Harbin Opera House as a cultural center of the future – a tremendous performance venue, as well as a dramatic public space that embodies the integration of human, art and the city identity, while synergistically blending with the surrounding nature,” said Ma Yansong, founding principal, MAD Architects.
Smooth, white aluminium panels carpet the curvilinear facade of this “undulating architectural mass.” Both a student and master of the landscape, the Harbin Opera House gives visitors the feeling of navigating the local topography as they ascend and intertwine between the platforms of the building.
The interior introduces a material intimacy as light filters through glass curtains and pixels nestling the curvature of Manchurian Ash wooden walls. Seized by a breathtaking unity in the exterior, visitors revisit a striking balance between drama and subtlety.
Images via ArchDaily